V&A Presents – Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

Erdem A/W 2008 Photo by David Hughes

A spectacular exhibition of more than 60 ballgowns from 1950 to the present day will go on display at the V&A on May 19, – January 6, 2013. Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will be the first exhibition in the newly renovated V&A Fashion Galleries and will feature beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening gowns and catwalk showstoppers.

Giles S/S 2011 Photo by Tim Walker Model: Coco Rocha. © Tim Walker / Art + Commerce

There is a strong British design tradition of creating sumptuous ballgowns, one that has been upheld in the late 20th and 21st centuries through the work of designers such as Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. The exhibition will cover more than 60 years of a tradition that continues to flourish.

Victor Edelstein 1986 Photo by David Hughes

Displayed over two floors, Ballgowns will show specially made designs for social events such as private parties, royal state occasions, debutante balls, opening nights and red carpet events. Tour de force eveningwear from the V&A’s vast collection by designers such as Norman Hartnell, Victor Stiebel, Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker, Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan will be on show, as well as dresses fresh from the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen, Giles, Erdem, Roksanda Illincic, Mark Fast and Jenny Packham. Innovative designer Gareth Pugh has created a stunning metallic leather dress especially for the exhibition.

Alexander McQueen S/S 2011 Photo by Christopher Moore catwalking.com

Royal gowns, with their luxurious fabrics and exquisite embellishments, always make headlines. A selection of royal ballgowns will be displayed, including a Norman Hartnell gown designed for Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Diana’s ‘Elvis Dress’ designed by Catherine Walker and gowns worn by today’s young royals. Dresses worn by actresses and celebrities including Sandra Bullock, Daphne Guinness, Elizabeth Hurley and Bianca Jagger will also be shown.

Museum hours daily 10.00 – 17.45 and until 22.00 every Friday – Museum hours daily 10.00a – 5:45p and until 10:00p every Friday

Tickets: £10 or $16.00 (concessions available) V&A Members go free

For advance bookings visit www.vam.ac.uk  (booking fee applies)

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 is curated by Oriole Cullen and Sonnet Stanfill

 www.vam.ac.uk/ballgowns  www.thpfashion.com

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